21 July, Grayshott, (10,15)
So the privilege of having my inaugural RM'ing for the SHABI's was from the carpark in Grayshott, where 9 of my fellow Shabi crew put their trust in my navigation for an 18 mile round trip through Ludshott Common, Arford Common, Alice Holt, Dockenfield, Frensham, and back to Grayshott.
The Kitty Weir 10:
Firstly, I think it is important to mention that (and for those who are on Strava will already know) we have a Local Legend amongst us! Yes, Big Ring, and his machete, has been knocking up more miles than a 2 wheeled bushman on steroids (check out his mileage this year!), clearing routes for us chaps. Top man!
Sometimes only one picture is all that is needed to tell a story - and here it is!
Back to Tuesday night, we set off at 6.30 sharp down through Ludshott Common to a spot of short steep and varied down hill trails, which everyone chose the safest route for themselves. I have often wondered how the Shabi names are given, and now believe that Chuffy must have derived his from the proximity to the rear end of the RM on descents? (Please advise).
As I approached a vertical, that Danny McCaskill might have thought twice about, and consequently I refused, I discovered Chuffy, was so close behind me that had I gone over, he would have undoubtedly followed, and wouldn't ended up right up my ...... You guessed it!
Fortunately, that mishap was avoided, and we all ended up safely on the road to our first meaningful climb, which Chuff had a 'chain off'. In fact he had 3 of them throughout the whole ride! Maybe some indexing is needed.
Through Arford Common and a flowing section with a few spots to get some air, and a gap that creeps up on you at the end, as Fracker found out to his surprise, but didn't let it faze him.
We crossed the main road into the 'most meaningful', but short, climb that demanded the first of tugs boat thighs and the balance of a tight rope walker to stay on your steed. The sound of Slash (like steam engine power house, hauling freight) could be heard well before he was visible arriving at the top. Then a gentle free wheel down to give your legs a rest.
At bit of easy road, then on through fields of many sheep and into Broxwood Common and a touch of Alice Holt, where Nurse Brown & Tonka went into mountain goat mode and romped up the next meaningful hill.
We pass the Blue Bell pub and down into Dockenfield to what will now be know as 'Kitty Weir'. It could well have been named, Rat Weir or even Pig Weir, as these were the dubious observations made by a number of the Shabi crew of the unfortunate drowned animal that was circling in front of their gaze.
The next stage was a flat, and at pace, run along the waters edge to Frensham Great Pond, where Faff cheeks pointed out the fastest time (according to Strava), was considerably faster than we had gone, or hoped to achieve, so no medals for us then.
From Frensham up through bracken and woods towards Churt, and through/across a stream and towards Hindhead. However, a sharp right turn off the road into a steep decent, across another bit of water, and a granny gear climb out the other side, got the old ticker going some.
The final leg took us along a short road to 'Heartbreak hill' (just what you need at the end of a ride). Chuff managed to have another 'chain off' as granny gears were once again engaged (except the two aforementioned mountain goats) who breezed up the steepest of slopes of the ride, probably discussing thigh circumstances, as they disappeared into the distance.
A left turn at the top, behind Applegarth, and then across the cricket ground to realise that we were 3 down! Oh know, I thought I had done so well! Alas, 'thumbs up' DRM Big Ring was nowhere to be seen, however, all was not lost as we all reconvened at the other end of the cricket ground, as Big Ring, Slumpy & Chuff took the more scenic route.
We trundle back to the car park, pick up our pre-ordered fish and chips, or picnics and sat on the green helping ourselves to Big Rings donated case of wife beating larger (Stella), and had a good old moan about Heartbreak hill etc.
Shabi T-shirts all round, and Slumpy with a couple of dust bowl eyes!
Hope you all enjoyed, and maybe we can do the reverse another time, for a different experience?